Quick Links & Contacts


Office of Advocacy

PYA Goals


Alternative Schools
GED Programs
Scholarships & ETVs

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


Finding an Apartment
Emergency Services


Summer Jobs


Morning After Pill info


Citywide Clinic List

New York City has a new web portal for teens. Click on www.nyc.gov/teen to find information, resources, and help.


Suicide Hotline

LifeNet Referrals
(24 hours)
1-800-543-3638 (English)
1-877-298-3373 (Spanish)
1-877-990-8585 (Mandarin/Cantonese)

Visit www.nyc.gov/teen and click on "Dating and Friends" and "Feeling Stressed" to learn more.

Youth In Progress

Hotlines (dating violence, housing, mental health)


Lawyers for Children

Legal Aid (call the office in the borough where you lived when you first went into foster care)
Bronx: 718-579-7900
Brooklyn: 718-237-7100
Manhattan: 212-312-2260
Queens: 718-298-8900
Staten Isl.: 718-981-0219

Education/Special Ed
Advocates for Children

Legal Aid Society’s Education Advocacy Project

ETVs (Educational and Training Vouchers)

Featured Story

Shelter Life: Loud and Foul
image by YC
Shelter Life: Loud and Foul

I knew I’d have to leave my mom’s house at some point—but I did not expect to live in a homeless shelter. It all seemed to happen so fast: One minute, I’m in the nice, warm house I’ve lived in for 16 years, with food, clothes, and entertainment. The next thing I know, I’m spending my nights in a shelter occupied by the men you see in the subways begging for change.

There were warnings. My relationship with my mom hasn’t been the easiest. She and her late husband adopted me out of foster care when I was 5, and she and I have been battling since I was 12 or 13. She hated when I undermined her authority; her rules made me feel like I had no freedom.

She’s threatened for years to kick me out if I didn’t listen to her or if I didn’t do well in school. She’s told me that if I didn’t change by the time I was 21, I’d have to leave. I turned 21 but didn’t worry too much. I thought she was bluffing because she always forgave me for disrespecting her.

But she wasn’t bluffing this time. Part of me knew that she’d reach her breaking point sooner or later, but a louder part of me refused to contemplate ever living on my own. Those two parts of me you could call my adult-self (preparing to be independent) and my kid-self (in denial, wanting to be taken care of).

But a month ago, she told me to pack my bags and be out the next day. Where would I go? I should have prepared to live on my own, but I hadn’t. I’m in community college, and I get a bit of financial aid for school expenses. But I’ve never held a job, and every place I apply tells me I need experience and a college degree.

Goodbye Comfort Zone

When my mom told me I had to leave, I felt so lost and confused. I also felt I had nowhere to go and nobody to turn to for help. I was terrified of the possibility of being on my own, out of my comfort zone. Even though we fought a lot and I wanted to get away from all the tension, I was comfortable at my mom’s place. Despite our shaky relationship, I still loved her and needed her.

Even before my mom kicked me out, my therapist researched places that take in homeless people. I hadn’t asked her for any help, but she could tell things were getting worse between me and my mom. My therapist believed that at 21, I shouldn’t be living with my mom anymore, and she gave me the address of a shelter.

It was an intake center in Manhattan. I saw a bunch of older men walking out of the building and got confused. I asked the guard, “What is this place?” With a straight face, he told me, “This is a men’s shelter. Entrance is through that gate.”. . .

[read more]